Biblical Parallels/ the Effect of Organized Religion on the Town of Macondo

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One Hundred Years of Solitude closely mimics passages and parables found throughout The Bible, beginning with the city of Macondo itself. An allusion to the Garden of Eden, Macondo is a lush and vibrant world wherein citizens live very long and subject their morals to the natural law. This and other occurrences resonate parallel to stories and characters found in the Old Testament. Religion itself is regarded with skepticism, illustrated through the arrival of the Priest Father Nicanor Reyna in One Hundred Years of Solitude. These references and characters both serve to validate the novel’s epic relevance and exemplify Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s view on the impact of organized religion on indigenous society. The novel begins with a very distinct introduction, one of “biblical” proportions. The beginning of the book of Genesis and One Hundred Years of Solitude are similar in several ways. “The world was so recent that many things lacked names, and in order to indicate them, it was necessary to point (1).” In the Bible, Adam’s job is to name the animals, exercising his power over them referencing them into his (and mankind’s) vision of the world. In establishing Macondo, Jose Arcadio Buendia does the same thing. In this analogy, he represents the archetypal man, Adam. Also in the first chapter, there is a parable for the human quest for knowledge, as is mentioned in the book of Genesis. At the end of Chapter two, Jose Arcadio Buendia mimics Adam again. Adam and Eve were expelled from Eden for eating from the Tree of Knowledge, and this novel fulfills the same cautionary occurrence. Jose Arcadio Buendia’s relentless pursuit of knowledge, arguably, drives him to foolishness and insanity. In his madness, he is tied to a tree. This can easily be seen as a reference to the tree whose fruit tempted Adam and Eve to their original fall. It is not just the technological forces of modernization that cause Macondo’s Eden-like town to transform, but the arrival of organized...
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